Buzzfeed: Ukraine Paid Right Wing Bloggers to Post Talking Points

Autocratic payola
Wingnuts • Views: 18,862

If you noticed quite a few right wing blogs and media sites that seemed to be rather, uh, uncritical of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in the past few weeks, it’s not necessarily because they were really that sympathetic to the kleptocratic ruler.

They might have been getting paid: Exclusive: How Ukraine Wooed Conservative Websites.

WASHINGTON — Several conservative bloggers repeated talking points given to them by a proxy group for the Ukrainian government — and at least one writer was paid by a representative of the Ukrainian group, according to documents and emails obtained by BuzzFeed.

The Ukrainian campaign began in the run-up to high-stakes Ukrainian parliamentary elections last year, and sought to convince skeptical American conservatives that the pro-Russian Party of Regions, led by President Viktor Yanukovych, deserved American support. During that period, articles echoing Ukrainian government talking points appeared on leading conservative online outlets, including RedState, Breitbart, and Pajamas Media.

The emails and documents, which include prepackaged quotes from election officials and talking points that some writers copied nearly word-for-word, offer a glimpse into how foreign governments dodge tight Justice Department regulations on foreign propaganda to covertly lobby in the United States: The payments were routed through a front group in Belgium to an American consultant, who has urged writers not to cooperate with a reporter investigating the campaign.

Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray identifies some of the people involved in this 2013 propaganda campaign:

One of the writers who participated in the campaign, who spoke on the condition of anonymity and because of lingering qualms about the arrangement, they said, described being offered $500 for a blog post praising Ukraine’s ruling Party of Regions. The payment was arranged by George Scoville, a libertarian media strategist, and Scoville’s name was on the check, the source said.

[…]

Other writers who were producing incongruous pro-Party of Regions stories at the time include Ben Shapiro of Breitbart and Seton Motley, a conservative blogger.

One of Shapiro’s Ukraine posts, “Hillary Sides With Anti-Semitic Ukrainian Opposition,” is nearly identical to a post that appeared four days later in a different publication under [Warner Todd] Huston’s byline: “Clinton Dept. of State Backing the Anti-Semitism Party in Ukraine?

Shapiro said he hadn’t been paid by anyone other than his employers to do the posts. Scoville “was not the one pitching me as far as I recall,” Shapiro said.

Motley wrote a post for Human Events about Ukraine’s gas dealings with Russia on October 15, and one for Pajamas Media on October 5 titled “Ukraine is Leading West — Not Bowing East” that cites most of the statistics about Ukraine’s economy contained in the talking points provided by Scoville.

Read the whole sordid story.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
Scientists Discover First DNA Evidence of Female Viking Warriors The researchers don't believe their findings will revolutionize the way scholars conceptualize Viking military history. However, the paper raises new questions about the exact role of women in Viking society, and casts some doubt on previously unearthed Viking remains ...
Birth Control Works
3 hours, 35 minutes ago
Views: 131 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Female Officer Completes Marines’ Infantry Officer Training Course - Pacific Standard Nearly two years after the military opened up all combat roles to women, a female officer is joining the Marine Corps infantry. The woman, a lieutenant whose identity has not yet been disclosed, is the first female officer to ...
Birth Control Works
3 hours, 50 minutes ago
Views: 107 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
I Worked in a Private Prison—They Are a Cancer on American SocietyAmericans enjoy freedoms not heard of in other countries. We have freedoms of speech, expression, and a free press. We are able to openly oppose our leaders and even insult them without fear of reproach. For instance, if I wanted ...
plansbandc
5 hours ago
Views: 32 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
How Books Designed for Soldiers’ Pockets Changed Publishing Forever - Atlas Obscura In early June, 1944, tens of thousands of American troops prepared to storm the beaches of Normandy, France. As they lined up to board the invasion barges, each was issued something less practical than a weapon, but equally precious: ...
Birth Control Works
5 hours, 9 minutes ago
Views: 83 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The NFL Presents Faux Patriotism and the Double Standardblog.timesunion.com It never ceases to amaze me how some issues outrage certain segments of the population, while those very same people will twist themselves into a moral pretzel to overlook other behaviors which can be classified as downright criminal. Last ...
rhoffman
6 hours, 56 minutes ago
Views: 193 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 2
Comments: 0
: 2
New Atheist Lord Mayor of Belfast Takes Heat for Not Offering Prayer at Installation Ceremony The city of Belfast, Northern Ireland elected a new Lord Mayor, Nuala McAllister. She is a young mother (age twenty-eight and served on the city council for three years), and ran on a campaign of honesty. She has a ...
Anymouse 🌹
2 days, 3 hours ago
Views: 275 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Iran Tests Missile Despite Trump Pressure Iran says it has successfully tested a new-medium range missile, in defiance of US President Donald Trump. The launch of the Khoramshahr missile, which has a range of 2,000 km (1,242 miles), was shown on state TV. It is ...
Thanos
2 days, 7 hours ago
Views: 350 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Russia Turns on Morgan Freeman Over Election ‘War’ Video Want to weed some alt right Putin pawns from your twitter fee? Just look for the ones attacking Morgan Freeman with Russia Today meme and themes this week. Russia has aimed its entire media arsenal at the veteran Hollywood ...
Thanos
2 days, 7 hours ago
Views: 331 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Scientists Closing in on the Dawn of Plate Tectonics But over time the world gradually became less bleak. Today Earth also harbors light-colored rocks, like the granite that composes Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. But scientists remain uncertain as to when the world started to transition from ...
Thanos
2 days, 9 hours ago
Views: 349 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Expert’s Advice: Don’t Engage With the Alt-Right on Campus The event, organized by the campus’s Division of Equity and Inclusion, comes ahead of a series of student-sponsored events next Sunday through Wednesday that are expected to bring right-wing speakers to campus for noon and evening rallies, although the ...
Thanos
3 days, 9 hours ago
Views: 693 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 39 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 2
Comments: 0
: 2